School of Music


Jeff Cottrell, D.M.A, Associate Dean, Associate Professor of Low Brass and Theory
Bill Harden, M.M., Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Bands
Christopher Hollingsworth, D.M.A.,Professor of Voice and Director of Chorale and Opera
Leigh Anne Hunsaker, Ph.D., Dept Head: Music Education; Professor of Music Education/Trumpet
Dee Romines, D.M.A., Associate Professor of Music Education, and Director of Concert Choir
Bernard Scherr, Ph.D., Dept Head: Professor of Music Theory & Composition

Hardin-Simmons University School of Music is the first school of music in the State of Texas accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. They have been fully accredited by this organization since 1930.


The School of Music serves to prepare students for careers in music.


A Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in music and a chosen minor is offered for students interested in a greater concentration in liberal arts. A Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in music (music business) is offered for students interested in pursuing a career in music business. In addition, the School of Music provides opportunities for creative, culturally enriching experiences for the university community. Emphasis is on academic excellence, creativity, and aesthetic and spiritual growth. For specific requirements leading to this degree, please refer to the degree plans following this portion of the catalog.


A minor in music is offered to students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Behavioral Science degree. A minor in music business is available in all degrees. Requirements for these minors are listed at the end of this section.

Course Offerings

Undergraduate courses are offered in music education, music business, music history and literature, theory and composition, band, choir, opera, and orchestra. Current musical activities and organizations are open to any student (in some cases by audition). In today’s complex society, the need persists for the educated person to be aware of the important role of the arts. Discipline and sensitivity developed by the study of music provides an excellent background for a variety of careers.

Entrance Requirements

Any student expecting to major or minor in music should present at least one unit of high school credit in music or its equivalent. Before a student is accepted for a degree major in the School of Music, he/she must evidence sufficient ability to pursue music work at the college level. Prospective music majors must audition with a representative performance in his/her principal performance area. Following the audition, the student will receive written notification regarding admission to the School of Music. In addition, the student must evidence in a written examination, a thorough knowledge of the rudiments of music. During the first week of classes, each freshman and transfer student will have the following requirement: a placement audition in the student’s applied discipline, a music theory diagnostic exam, and a piano placement audition. Results of these tests will place the student in proper course sequence. A student who does not successfully complete the entrance placement exams in theory and/or the placement auditions in piano and applied discipline may be placed in rudimentary level courses. These rudimentary courses are designed to prepare students for college level music study and will not count towards degree requirement credit. Upon successful completion of the rudimentary course(s), and with the recommendation of the respective professor, the student will advance to the credited course sequence.

Ensemble Requirements for Music Majors and Minors

All BM students will be required a minimum of seven or eight semester hours of large ensemble participation (see appropriate degree plan) with the exception of qualified piano accompanists who wish to enroll in Piano Ensemble for the purpose of accompanying private lessons. Additional hours of elective credit may also be taken in large or small ensembles.

It is recommended that full-time music majors and applied students participate in a large ensemble each semester they are enrolled in the University beyond the required semesters on their degree plan.

All Bachelor of Arts students with a major in music will be required to complete a minimum of six semester hours of large ensemble. All Bachelor of Arts students with the minor in music will be required to complete a minimum of four semester hours of large ensemble.

Comprehensive Examinations

One semester before graduation, all senior candidates for the Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Arts degrees complete the Major Field Test and successfully pass an oral examination in music literature. For Bachelor of Music degree candidates, an oral or written examination in the student’s area of concentration will be given by the program director of that area. Students who do not pass these examinations will be required to retake the exams or complete additional work required by the concentration area faculty.


Piano Proficiency

All music majors (B.M. degree) must pass the piano proficiency requirement. The requirements for all majors, are as follows: (a) harmonization of simple accompaniments to melodies using triads; (b) sight-reading of hymns with key signatures of up to three sharps or flats; (c) sight-reading of simple piano music; (d) a memorized piece of the level of a Sonatina; (e) score reading appropriate to the student’s major; (f) major and harmonic minor scales with key signatures of up to three sharps or flats, played two octaves, hands together; and (g) cadence patterns in every key. The seven parts of the piano proficiency must be passed before student teaching begins. The student must continue to enroll in piano until six (of the seven) parts of the proficiency are passed. Students must successfully complete the remaining portion of the piano proficiency exam the following semester, or must re-enroll in piano lessons. Should a student withdraw from piano study prior to the end of the semester, an automatic grade of “WF” will be assigned.


Music students, faculty members, guest artists and University ensembles present recitals and concerts throughout the year which are open to the public. Graduation requirements for music majors include attendance at 12 recital/concerts per semester. The number of semesters required is as follows: B.M. degree - six semesters, B. A. degree - six semesters, and four semesters for music minors. All music majors and minors should register for CONC 1000 in order to have recital credit registered on their official transcript. A grade of credit (CR) or no credit (NC) will be used to show the completion of each semester’s recital attendance requirement.

All music majors, when enrolled in private instruction, are expected to perform on student recitals each semester (at the discretion of their private teacher). All students pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree are required to present one or more public recitals. Bachelor of Music majors in education present a one-half recital at the senior level (RECI 4000). Performance majors pursuing a Master of Music degree also give a full recital. Theory and Composition majors may perform in the principal area but must present a recital of original compositions.


Scholarships are awarded by audition to students who major in music and/or to students who participate in ensembles. Both departmental and endowed scholarships are available. See Financial Aid and Scholarships for a description of endowed scholarships. Application for scholarships should be made to the School of Music during the scholastic year prior to enrollment at HSU.

Music Student Handbook 

A School of Music Student Handbook is issued to all incoming music majors. It contains detailed information on policies and regulations governing music degrees, and should be used in conjunction with the Undergraduate Catalog in planning any academic program in music.

Performance Studies


Through intensive study of the literature, courses in performance provide the student with opportunities for developing performance and pedagogical skills in primary and/or secondary areas.

Principal and Secondary Performance Areas

Each student majoring in music must declare a principal area (instrument or voice) to be studied privately. One credit hour is given for each half-hour lesson per week per semester. Requirements for entry as a principal are defined in the appropriate sections under Courses in Performance Studies.

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree with a major in music education must complete a minimum of14 credits of private study in the principal performance area, while those majoring in music theory/composition must complete 16 credits of private study.

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in music must complete a minimum of 8 credits of private study in the performance areas of their choice. Four of these credits must be upper level.

All students pursuing a Bachelor of Music in music education with a choral emphasis, regardless of principal instrument, are required to take both semesters of diction. Pedagogy requirements vary by instrument and choice of major.

Conducting may be used as a secondary field only.

Practice Requirements

The minimum required practice time for private study is: for one credit hour per semester—one hour per day or five hours per week; for two credits—two hours per day or ten hours per week; etc.

Course Numbers

Course numbers in performance indicate various aspects of the course. The first digit indicates course level. The third digit indicates the musical area as follows:

1- Piano 2- Voice 3- Organ 4- Strings 5- Brass 6- Woodwinds 7- Percussion 8- Conducting 9- Guitar

Credit Hour Requirements

Private lessons per week for a 15 week semester:

1 credit hour = 30 minutes

2 credit hours = 1 hour

3 credit hours = 1 ½ hours

4 credit hours = 2 hours

Ensembles per week for a 15 week semester:

1 credit hour = 3-5 clock hours per week

Concert Choir = 5 hours

Chorale = 3 hours

Concert Band = 5 hours

Cowboy Band = 3 hours

Jazz, Brass, Woodwinds, String ensemble = 1 hour

Orchestra = 4 hours

Opera = 4 hours

Solo Competition

A competition is held among students every other year for the privilege of performing as soloists with the Civic Orchestra of Abilene.. This affords the gifted performer the opportunity to work with an ensemble in a solo capacity.

Preparatory and Elective Instruction

Registered students not pursuing a major or minor in music may enroll in private music studies.

Sophomore Barriers

At the end of the second year of private instruction, students majoring in music will be required to pass a proficiency barrier on their principle instrument in order to advance to the 3000 level of study. If the barrier is not passed, the student must continue applied study at the 2000 level. Only three barrier attempts are allowed. A student pursuing a BM degree who is not successful on the third attempt may continue in a BA degree, or in another program that does not require an advanced level of performance

Courses in Performance Studies

Piano Area

To be placed in a credit sequence as a piano principal, the student should be able to play all major and minor scales in moderately rapid tempo and broken chords in all keys, and should have studied literature of the difficulty of Czerny, Op 299; Heller, Op. 46 or 47; Bach, Little Preludes and Two-part Inventions; and sonatas of Mozart F Major, K.547a and Beethoven Op 49.

The suggested levels of attainment are intended as desirable goals; however, individual requirements will be tailored to the student’s abilities and needs.

Prior keyboard training and current ability on the piano will be considered in placing the student in either class or private instruction at the secondary level.

Sophomore Barrier for Piano Principals

Students pursuing a BM degree must play major and minor scales and arpeggios chosen by jurors played four octaves at appropriate velocity. The student should also offer polished and memorized performance of three movements or works contrasting in style and period, which are of a level of difficulty comparable to that of the easier Preludes and Fugues from Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier; the easier sonatas by Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven (excluding Mozart Sonata in C, K. 545, or Beethoven Sonatas, Op. 49); or Chopin Waltzes and easier Nocturnes. While one of the works may have been presented on previous juries, two of them must be prepared for the first time during the semester in which the barrier jury occurs. In the event of unsatisfactory performance, the student may continue to study as a piano principal but will be held at the sophomore level (MUPS 2111) until piano faculty determines deficiencies have been addressed. For those pursuing the BA degree as a piano principal, the requirement is to receive a passing grade in the four lower level hours of piano.

Piano Performance Major Private Instruction (MUPS)

First Year

1111—1-4 credit hours

Second Year

2111—1-4 credit hours

Third Year

3111—1-4 credit hours

Fourth Year

4111—1-4 credit hours

Class Instruction (MUPC)

1111, 1112, 1113, 1114 Class Piano I, II, III, IV

4311 Piano Pedagogy

Voice Area

To be placed in a credit sequence as a principal in voice, a student should be prepared to sing on pitch, with correct phrasing and musical intelligence, art songs in English such as those listed by the National Association of Teachers of Singing for high school age singers, or the Texas University Interscholastic League Contest Bulletin, published by the University Interscholastic League, Box 8028, University Station, Austin, TX 78713. The student should also be able to read a simple song or hymn at sight.

Sophomore Barrier for Voice

At this level, the voice student should achieve good breath management and support techniques as evident in a free-flowing, natural vibrato and show expression of musical line with rhythmic accuracy. Students pursuing a BM degree must demonstrate diction accuracy in English, Italian, French and German. Those pursuing a BA degree must demonstrate diction accuracy in two languages. This will be assessed by the jury at the end of the second semester at the 2121 level.

Voice Performance Major Private Instruction (MUPS)

First Year

1121—1-4 credit hours

Second Year

2121—1-4 credit hours

Third Year

3121—1-4 credit hours

Fourth Year

4121—1-4 credit hours

Class Instruction (MUPC)

1121 Class Voice

1125 Diction I

1126 Diction II

4321 Voice Pedagogy


Orchestra and Band Instrument Area

Brass, Percussion, Strings, Woodwinds, Guitar

To be placed in a credit sequence as a principal in an instrument, a student should be prepared to play, with correct phrasing and musical intelligence, selections from the Selective Music Lists of Instrumental Solos published by the National Interscholastic Music Activities Commission, 1201 Sixteenth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036, or the Texas University Interscholastic League Contest Bulletin. The student should also be able to read a simple selection at sight.

Sophomore Barrier for Brass, Percussion, Strings, Woodwinds, Guitar

Students pursuing a BA degree will be required to perform at least two pieces of contrasting styles chosen by the professor. Students pursuing a BM degree will be required to perform at least two pieces of contrasting styles chosen by the professor, in addition to any scales required by the professor. All students will be judged on quality of intonation, rhythm, tone, and understanding of musical style.

The barrier for percussion will require performance on snare drum, marimba, and timpani.

Instrumental Private Instruction (MUPS)

First Year (1-4 credit hours)
1141 Strings
1151 Brass
1161 Woodwinds
1171 Percussion
1191 Guitar (principal emphasis only)

Second Year (1-4 credit hours)
2141 Strings
2151 Brass
2161 Woodwinds
2171 Percussion
2191 Guitar (principal emphasis only)

Third Year (1-4 credit hours)
3141 Strings
3151 Brass
3161 Woodwinds
3171 Percussion
3191 Guitar (principal emphasis only)

Fourth Year (1-4 credit hours)
4141 Strings
4151 Brass
4161 Woodwinds
4171 Percussion
4191 Guitar (principal emphasis only)

Class Instruction (MUPC)
2099 (1-4 credit hours) Special Studies
4341 String Pedagogy
4351 Brass Pedagogy
4361 Woodwind Pedagogy
4371 Percussion Pedagogy


Ensembles are open to all interested students. The purpose of the music ensemble experience is to provide musical enrichment, growth in musical understanding and skills, and experience in group expression through performance of music of various styles from the Middle Ages to the present. The purchase of an appropriate uniform may be required for some ensembles.

Instrumental Ensembles (MUEI)
1101, 2101, 3101, 4101 University Concert Band
1111, 2111, 3111, 4111 Cowboy Band
1151, 2151, 3151, 4151 Jazz Ensemble
1113, 2113, 3113, 4113 Handbell Choir
1131,2131,3131,4131 Orchestra
1141,2141,3141,4141 String Ensemble
1151,2151,3151,4151 Brass Ensemble
1161,2161,3161,4161 Woodwind Ensemble
1171,2171,3171,4171 Percussion Ensemble
1191,2191,3191,4191 Piano Ensemble

Vocal Ensembles (MUEV)
1101, 2101, 3101, 4101 HSU Chorale
1111, 2111, 3111, 4111 Concert Choir
1141, 2141, 3141, 4141 Gospel Choir
1131, 2131, 3131, 4131 Opera Workshop


Music Education

Objectives - Through the study and application of philosophy, method, and practice, the student in Music Education is prepared for a vocation in the public school music classroom, and/or church music. By means of intensive classroom and ensemble experience, the Department of Music Education provides the student with skills necessary for professional competency.

For students entering the teaching field, these competencies include areas of teaching/learning psychology, international teaching methods and techniques, and an introduction to the total range of today’s music curriculum e.g., solo/vocal instrumental performance, ensemble experiences, general music study, and professional laboratory related experiences with the public school system.

NOTE: Music Education Major. During the sophomore year, students should schedule an interview with the head of the music education department. Afterwards, students will be eligible to apply for the Teacher Education Program through the School of Education. All Students, regardless of classification, should complete this step before completing 54 semester hours. Failure to do so may delay or prevent them from being admitted to the School of Education.

Music Education students not admitted to teacher preparation by 66 hours will most likely delay their graduation date. The School of Music is not required to offer courses out of order, nor is it required to allow students to take courses out of order.
Music Education majors are advised to read the program as described in the School of Education section regarding certification, admissions, student teaching, and other aspects of the education program.

The School of Music has the right to alter the requirements of the music education program at any time to meet requirements of the State Board for Educator Certification. Students will be expected to abide by these changes as they occur. Currently, the requirements are as follows: Music education majors must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 in all required music courses. Additionally, Music Education Majors may have no grade lower than “C” for any required music course. All portions of the senior comprehensive exam, including the written Music Education portion must be passed in order to take the Texas Credentialing exam for teacher certification.

Courses in Music Education (MUSI)

099 (1-4 credits) Special Studies
2121 Essentials of Woodwind Instruments
2122 Essentials of Brass Instruments
2123 Essentials of Percussion Instruments
2124 Essentials of String Instruments
2125 Instrumental Perspectives
2126 Vocal Perspectives
3122 Introduction to Conducting Skills
3201 Marching Band Techniques
3321 Music, Learning, and Children
3322 Older Children and Music Learning – Vocal
3323 Older Children and Music Learning – Band
3324 Older Children and Music Learning – Orchestra
3223 Choral Conducting Techniques and Materials
3224 Instrumental Conducting Techniques and Materials
3325 Essential Elements of Music
4099 (1-4 credits) Special Studies
4129, 4229 or 4329 Workshop in Music
4321 Music for the Adolescent
4622 Student Teaching in Elementary and Secondary School (See EDUC 4622)

Music History and Literature

It is the purpose of courses in music history and literature to implement listening techniques, to survey areas of the literature of music with relation to the society from which the music came, to relate to aesthetic concepts of an age, and to integrate theoretical and applied music experiences with some historical perspective.

Courses in Music History and Literature (MUHL)

1041, 1042, 1043, 1044 Laboratory in Concert Music
1301 Music Appreciation
2099 (1-4 credits) Special Studies
3241, 3242, 3243 History of Music I, II, III
3343 Understanding Music: Classical, Popular, World
3344 History of Jazz
4099 (1-4 credits) Special Studies
4241 Music of the Renaissance and Early Baroque Eras
4242 Music of the Late Baroque/Classic Eras
4243 Music of the Romantic Era
4244 Music in the Twentieth Century
4247 Music in America
4325 Performance Literature (Vocal)
43X5 Performance Literature (Instrumental)

Note: Special topic music literature courses may not substitute for required upper-level music history courses. Semester rotation schedule for upper-level MUHL courses is published in the School of Music Student Handbook.

Music Theory and Copmpsition

The purpose of music theory and composition is to develop the musical understanding of students through score analysis, performance, and the creation of new music. Special attention is paid to gaining fluency with musical concepts and topics through a graduated and integrated curriculum.
All students pursuing the BM-TC degree are required to present a 30-50 minute recital of original works. The music for this recital will be part of the student’s composition portfolio, which will be bound and deposited in the School of Music library. The portfolio is music that has met a high standard in artistry and notation. The portfolio will be developed during the three years of formal composition study. To maintain a uniform standard, the head of the composition department must approve all pieces before they can be added to the portfolio. Students are responsible for setting the recital and rehearsal dates, securing performers, producing published quality scores and parts, and developing the recital program that conforms to School of Music guidelines. This music will be composed in a diverse variety of courses, ranging from composition for small chamber ensembles to orchestra and/or concert band. Students are encouraged to experiment with the musical elements they study in the theory curriculum as they develop their inner ear, their unique compositional voice. The School of Music computer lab offers students the opportunity to integrate electronic elements into their music. HSU students are also encouraged to compose music for film. All BM-TC degree students are also required to present a paper/lecture on a theoretical research topic. The topic is chosen by the student in consultation with a faculty adviser. The paper/lecture can be integrated into the curriculum in one of the following classes: History of Music Theory, Post-tonal Analysis, Schenkerian Analysis (advanced tonal analysis), and Theory Pedagogy.

Courses in Music Theory and Composition (MUTC)

1131, 1132 Ear-Training I, II
1133, 1134 Keyboard I, II
1235, 1236 Harmony I, II
1331 Fundamentals of Music (for non-music majors)
2131, 2132 Ear-Training III, IV
2133, 2134 Keyboard III, IV
2235, 2236 Harmony III, IV
2237, 2238 Composition I, II (modeling and small forms)
2099 (1-4 credits) Special Studies in
Composition and Theory
2338 Computers in Music
3231 Form and Analysis
3233 Eighteenth Century Counterpoint
3234 Sixteenth Century Counterpoint
3237, 3238 Composition III, IV (small chamber ensembles and music for voices)
4099 (1-4 Credits) Special Studies in Composition and Theory
4231 Orchestration
4232 Orchestration II (BM-TC elective)
4233 History of Music Theory
4234 Schenkerian Analysis
4235 Post-tonal Theory
4236 Music Theory Review (for non-BM-TC majors)
4237, 4238 Composition V, VI (large chamber ensembles and large ensembles)
4333 Pedagogy of Theory